Updated: Oct 14, 2020
I'm sure you've all heard of 30 Day Challenges. If you've been living under a rock and don't know what I'm talking about, then check out these 100 30 Day Challenge Ideas. Most 30 Day Challenges focus on some type of self care or fitness. The basis is simple. Just pick something you want to achieve, then do it for 30 straight days.
So why's my challenge 31 days? Well, first off there are 7 months with 31 days and only 4 with 30 days. Yes, I know math, that equals 11, but don't forget about February. I guess if you're less motivated you could always do a 28 day challenge, unless it's leap year. Anyways, I chose 31 because I like to go BIG! Oh, and my challenge: ride my bike for 31 straight days.
That wasn't enough for me, though. I had to spice it up a bit. I had two simple rules. First, every ride had to be outside. Second, every ride had to be at least 2 hours long. Simple enough, right? Well, the most I had ever ridden without a rest day was 14 days.
So I started off on my own little made up 31 Day Challenge on August 31st. The first 10 days were awesome! I had great weather and I was feeling great! When day 12 rolled around I really wasn't feeling it. My wife, being the great motivator she is, looked at me and said, "just ride". Those were the words that my friend, Ray Spooner, had once told me. So I sucked it up and hopped on the bike for a 50 mile ride that day.
Once I got past day 14 I knew that I was not going to give up. My legs felt great, my heart rate was way down, and I was eating up all of our pandemic groceries stock pile. Now most of the rides I did were solo, but occasionally my buddy Bart would join me for some miles.
I had the motivation to ride, but I was getting bored seeing the same things over and over and over again. So much so that I started to name the farm animals. I'd like to take a second now to thank Susan, Barbara, and Janice (all horses) for their moral support. I'd also like to admit that I talk to the cows, especially Patricia; she really got what I was doing.
So, to curb the boredom and limit my inner Dr. Doolittle, I started using Wandrer to find new roads to explore. This really helped keep me going. I think I ended up riding around 300 new miles of roads during my challenge.
Day 31: The only question here was how many miles do I end on? I went to the Gram for some advice from my followers. How far should I ride, I asked? I had responses ranging from 20 miles to 200 miles. The wind was going to be 20 mph out of the southwest by early afternoon that day. I decided to head out early and head southwest towards Decatur.
The plan was to ride as far as I could until my legs got tired, then just come home. I ended up riding 107 miles that day. I felt great, but now what? I had finished my ridiculous made-up challenge with a total of 1,802 miles in 31 days. I lost 7 pounds, cut three tires, destroyed our grocery budget for the month, and only fell off the bike once in a right hand gravel turn.
What was the point of this? I just wanted to see what my body could handle. It's amazing what you can do when you push yourself. I think the key for completing this, at least for me, was nutrition, and motivation. The motivation was easy. I'm the type of person that doesn't do anything halfway. Nutrition was a bit tougher. I had to make sure I was not only fueling my body for the next day, but also giving it the protein it needed for recovering from each ride.
I would like to challenge you to push yourself past your mental limits and partake in a 31 Day Challenge! It doesn't even have to be cycling. Just find something you enjoy, and do it every day. Good luck, and comment below and let me know what your 31 Day Challenge is!